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September 5, 1977

Medical News

JAMA. 1977;238(10):1005-1013. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280110009002

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Automated test measures functional antithrombin, coagulation enzymes  In the past two or three years, thrombosis research increasingly has focused on the check and balance system of enzymes that activate and inhibit coagulation. Investigators hope to learn how to control excessive coagulation in the body—a condition that has been reported to result from the use of certain drugs as well as from some diseases, such as cancer or septicemia.Four substances often are considered key coagulation inhibitors: antithrombin III, α1-antitrypsin, α2-macroglobulin, and C1-inhibitor. Of these, the heparin cofactor, antithrombin III, is of primary importance, according to investigators at Loyola University of Chicago's Stritch School of Medicine.The anticoagulant action of heparin in normal blood is mediated by activation of antithrombin III, which also inhibits the active coagulant enzymes—factor XIIa, XIa, IXa, Xa, and thrombin. Deficiency of antithrombin III hence tends to lead to hypercoagulation